Heather Proskey meets the event
Rosealee Lee, an instructor in the Meeting and Event Management program, regards Heather Proskey as one of her signature graduates. In Lee’s informed view, Proskey defines what the hospitality profession is all about—exceeding guest expectations and creating wonderful memories.
“Throughout her remarkable career, Heather has shown unlimited passion for the experiences of her guests,” Lee said. “Only a lucky few get the opportunity to build a career on such passion.”
Born on Long Island, N.Y., but a deep-rooted resident of Apple Valley, Minn., Heather Proskey brings a grand slam of talent and knowledge to her job as marketing and events coordinator for the Bloomington Convention & Visitors Bureau. The BCVB serves as the not-for-profit marketing arm for the city of Bloomington, Minn.
“I’ve worked for the BCVB going on two and half years now,” Proskey said. “In my job as coordinator, I handle marketing, special events, media and PR.”
With 85,000 residents, Bloomington ranks as Minnesota’s fifth largest city. Reserved parkland makes up a third of the city’s 39 square miles, but the other two thirds just happen to include the Mall of America, which stands as the largest, fully enclosed retail and family entertainment complex in the U.S., big enough to hold seven Yankee Stadiums.
Proskey also publicizes the opening of new hotels as well as the happenings and event calendars of Bloomington’s more than 35 existing hotels. But what she loves most is planning and managing big, high-profile events.
Since graduating from Apple Valley High School in 1994, Proskey has been steadily building a skill range that gives her the oomph and know-how to thrive in an exceptionally complicated profession. In 1998, she graduated from St. Cloud State University with two degrees, a B.A. in English and a B.S. in sports journalism.
“I wanted to be a sports journalist,” she said, “but I found the job too sedentary. I wanted to be more active and didn’t think sitting behind a desk was where I belonged.”
She soon gave up covering peewee football and bantam hockey in favor of working as a sales manager for the Minnesota Twins. The New York Yankees eventually lured her to the Big Apple and for two years she commuted from Connecticut. She was with the Yankees over 9/11 and was just heading for work when the attacks took place, shutting down access to the city.
“Things definitely changed toward the end of the season,” Proskey said, “but I was there for the World Series and that was incredible. It was a rebirth.”
“Rosealee has an amazing breadth of knowledge and her program is nothing but extraordinary. There is never a dull moment in her classroom and you never see the same scenario twice.”
Missing her family and friends in Apple Valley, Proskey returned to Minnesota and worked for Como Town Amusement Park before taking the job of marketing coordinator at the Mall of America. That position gave her the opportunity to open Nickelodeon Universe, an immense undertaking with a galactic learning curve packed with details and new experiences.
“It was crazy,” Proskey said. “The project was a complete overhaul of an unbranded amusement park into an intensely Nickelodeon-themed attraction.”
Proskey discovered meeting and event planning in earnest managing a massive trade show for the Southern Twin Cities Association of Realtors. Inspired, she enrolled in the inaugural class of Rosealee Lee’s Meeting and Event Management program.
“Once Heather identified her love of the hospitality industry, she zeroed in on the knowledge and experience needed to build a powerful career,” Lee said.
Earning her A.AS. degree in 2010, Proskey gives Lee kudos for running a smart and relevant program. “Rosealee has an amazing breadth of knowledge and her program is nothing but extraordinary,” she said. “There is never a dull moment in her classroom and you never see the same scenario twice.”
“Throughout her remarkable career, Heather has shown unlimited passion for the experiences of her guests. Only a lucky few get the opportunity to build a career on such passion.”
Proskey has managed a slew of events during her time with the BCVB, including the annual Bloomington CVB Foundation Golf Tournament and most recently the Aflac Iron Girl Bloomington Women’s Duathlon, but her one of her favorites is the Bloomington Diamond Service Awards.
“This is an annual red-carpet gala that salutes 17 outstanding customer service employees in Bloomington’s tourism, hospitality and retail industries,” Proskey said, “people who make our city a world-class visitor destination. Planning and executing wonderful events like this is exciting and rewarding. It’s the reason I love my job.”
Four Ways to Connect with Meeting and Event Professionals
- Hospitality Rants, Raves and Review
- DCTC Hospitality Network
- Meeting Professionals International Student Club
- Hospitality Alumni Network (Coming soon!)